Girl Scouts still finding ways to keep busy

Girl Scouts Andrew Broxon (left) and Cheyanne Geiderman don cookie costumes to work at a cookie sales booth.
Girl Scouts Andrew Broxon (left) and Cheyanne Geiderman don cookie costumes to work at a cookie sales booth. Photo provided.

Originally published Feb. 4, 2010.

The organization has been in existence since 1912, and Girl Scouts are still finding ways to stay busy.

The local Scouts are in the midst of their annual Girl Scout cookie sale, a major fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana branch. That branch made up of 22 counties in the northern third of Indiana and southwest Michigan, including 15,500 girls ranging in age from 5 to 17. They are led by 4,700 adult
volunteers.
The cookie sale wraps up March 9.

One local troop is using its cookie sale money to save for the trip of a lifetime in a few years. Nanette Yarde's troop, made up of 10 girls ranging in age from eighth-graders to sophomores in high school, has hopes of taking a 10-day trip to Europe to visit England, France and Italy when the girls are in their final years of high school. Yarde says the trip is still in the planning stages.

The mission of the Girl Scouts, which was founded by Juliette Gordon Low, is to "build girls of courage, confidence and character," says the organization's Web site.

Girl Scouts are divided by grade level. Kindergartners and first graders are Daisies; second and third graders are Brownies; fourth and fifth grades are Junior Girl Scouts; sixth, seventh and eighth graders are Cadet Girl Scouts; grades nine, ten and 11 are Senior Girl Scouts; and grade 12 are Ambassadors.

The Ambassadors research issues important for girls and are taught how to become advocates for an issue important to them, explains Linda Chrisman, community development manager for the region's office in Fort Wayne.

"We have 21 active groups so far this year" in Huntington County, Chrisman says. "We never stop recruiting new girls and leaders. There are 238 girls registered so far."

Every troop has both a leader and co-leader, and all of the leaders come together monthly for an informative meeting.

Some of events the Girl Scouts take part in include an overnight lock-in that was arts themed.

There's also Thinking Day, which "gives the girls the opportunity to learn more about countries all over the world," Chrisman says. "There are Girl Scouts in nearly every country in the world. We think about our sister Scouts all over the world on Thinking Day."

There is also a scrapbooking event coming up in March, as well as the annual day camp in June. The camp teaches the Scouts to cook over a fire, along with other outdoor skills.

The girls earn badges for projects in their group and around the community. Some of the service projects done for the holidays included caroling and making ornaments for local nursing homes, as well as taking 44 Angels from the Angel Tree to make sure they had presents for Christmas.

For more information on the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana, visit www.gsnim.org.